What got us together in 1995 was awareness of some families at risk of homelessness for lack of a few hundred dollars. The result was ‘Save Our Homes’, a no-interest loan program for people with housing emergencies. Our maximum loan is $400. That much help toward a security deposit, back rent or even property tax delinquency can sometimes make all the difference. By 2013 we’d loaned more than $347,000 to 980 families in thirteen towns.
We make loans only:
- where there is a serious emergency
- where the borrower will be able to repay the loan
- where the loan is likely to enable the borrower to get past the emergency and back on their feet
- if the need is for help with a security deposit: where an apartment has been found and the applicant approved by the landlord
Decisions are made weekly by the Helpfund committee. Applications may be brought to the committee by different organizations. But most requests for housing help come through BAAH’s Loan Coordinator. The Coordinator contacts the applicant and discusses their situation. If the request seems appropriate, she will meet with the applicant to develop a budget with them and complete paperwork. Documents needed at the appointment are 30 days of income verification, photo ID, and documentation of need (usually a letter from the landlord showing the total amount needed). Before an application is brought to the Helpfund committee, the applicant’s information may be verified by talking with landlords, service agencies and others.
Once an applicant has been approved by the Helpfund, Save Our Homes will inform the applicant that a representative at River Valley Credit Union will contact them to complete the process. In most cases, the minimum monthly payment is $25.
Generally, the Helpfund committee has approved about 60% of Save Our Homes loan requests that have been brought to it. Any prior loan with a balance must be paid in full in order to be eligible for another loan.
If you think you might be eligible for a loan or want more information, please call 802-246-2224 ext. 3.
Save Our Homes is a ‘revolving’ loan fund. We need faithful repayment by every borrower if we’re to continue to help other people!